Inventory management means providing the required levels that can sustain businesses daily operations at minimal cost. This includes determining the levels of stock to order, when to order, allotting SKU’s, inspection procedure and providing sufficient storage facility. With no accurate inventory management in place, arises out of stock scenarios.
Out of stock refers to scenarios when you have a product sell which you cannot fulfill, or when you have lost a sale due to not having a product any longer can affect your brands reputation badly and increase customer service cost. Therefore, to prevent such scenarios, should be at the top of any company’s priority list.
Out of stock is an unpleasant scenario for everyone in the ecommerce chain, and by following these steps to ensure that products are never out of stock until dispatached, you can enhance your inventory management capabilities too.
1. Decide inventory tracking method
Tracking inventory can be done in many ways, you can either use several proven methods or create a version that works the best for you.
Types of inventory tracking techniques you can follow:
The most simplest tracking method is visual control which allows you to examine inventory visually, assess what you have in stock and decide what more to order.
Tickler control, a method in which you can count your inventory in small quantity each day, so that within a stipulated period of time you can assess your entire inventory.
Tick sheets will enable you and your staff to record inventory you sell, distribute, or even use them as you remove them from the inventory. Always suggested to keep a tick sheet on a clip board where your inventory is stocked(in your warehouse), so that it can be referred before re-ordering.
2. Use point-of-sale inventory management system
Point-of-sales inventory management system refers to the cash register or computer you use for check-outs at your business, keeps count of your inventory and allows you to run reports end of business day, month, year or any other stipulated time-frame.
3.Use multi-channel inventory management agency to handle multiple warehouse
For retailers with multi warehouse inventory, can indulge with multi-channel inventory management agency that will count your stock, write the re-order and even remove and send back unwanted products to the manufacturer per a predetermined arrangement with your company. This way you save your time that can be utilized in other crucial business tasks.
4. Avoid out-of-stock scenarios from unexpected events
If you are retailers selling seasonal products, it is suggested to buffer stock of those products in case of prolonged weather events. This way you prevent shortages from unexpected scenarios and satisfy your customers need all time.
5. Organize regular cycle counts
Organized stock control leads to accurate inventory, and accurate inventory means no out-of-stock scenarios. Regular cycle counts will help you keep a tack of stock in turn maintain the state of inventory and warehouse.
Always recommended to cycle count quarterly, so as to minimize the time spent, effort shed with physical counts. This will also make for valuable information for tax calculation and for planning operating expense each year.
Nowadays, large companies use some more advanced multi-channel retail software to manage and maintain stock levels. But for small retailers, it is just a systematic approach rather than technology counts. To gain an ultimate grip on your inventory does mean that you need to indulge with an expensive inventory management and order software. With the above tips and bit of research you can assess clearly what you need and indulge a manual or automated system that can track your inventory across multiple warehouses, in different location, and allocates unique serial number of different products. Even it you get some near real-time information about your inventory, it is always better than having none.